Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: The Horse and His Boy

As an English major and writer, sometimes it is embarrassing to admit which books I haven't read. I am always reading something, but there are still plenty of classics I haven't enjoyed yet. Chronicles of Narnia are some of those--I feel kind of sheepish when I say that I haven't read them all. When I was young I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and part of Prince Caspian. But that's as far as I made it.

So recently I decided to start reading them in chronological order, starting with The Magician's Nephew, proceeding to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, then The Horse and His Boy, then  Prince Caspian and the rest of the series. I love Chronicles of Narnia for the Christian symbolism. I'm really not one who generally enjoys fantasy, but for C. S. Lewis we must make exceptions, don't you think?
The Horse and His Boy is the story of a boy named Shasta who is introduced to a talking horse named Bree who was stolen from Narnia. The book is the story of their quest to return to Narnia. As with the other books in the series, I marveled at how deftly Lewis wove the details of the story. I think he blends the perfect amount of plot twists and suspense to make it interesting.

My favorite part of the story took place when Shasta was alone on a journey, lost, cold, and surrounded by fog and darkness. He was beginning to sink into self pity when he became aware that someone or something was next to him.

"Who are you?" he said, scarcely above a whisper.

"One who has waited long for you to speak," said the Thing. Its voice was not loud, but very large and deep...."Tell me your sorrows."

Shasta unloaded his whole life on the being who walked beside him. And slowly it came out that the being was Aslan (the lion who represents Christ throughout the Narnia series). Aslan explained to Shasta the different times in Shasta's life when Aslan had cared for and comforted him.

"I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you."

Countless times Aslan had quietly and anonymously worked in Shasta's life and Shasta hadn't even realized it.

How often does Christ work in my life without me realizing it? I am sure that, like Shasta, I am often blind to His careful hand. But this much I do know: Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is the Savior of the whole world. And I rejoice in the knowledge that He is at work in my life and the lives of those around me, whether or not we recognize it. He loves us. And He lives.

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